The word mother evokes both love and a certain degree of fear, mainly because it’s a role that comes with the responsibility to raise and nurture children. Whether we’re talking about biological mothers, stepmothers or adoptive mothers, they all do some form of mothering. Mother is also a word that can refer to an elderly woman or mother superior in a religious order. It can even describe the sludge that forms during the fermentation of wine or cider.
Despite the aforementioned sludge, most of us have a positive association with the word mother, especially when it’s used to describe a biological female parent. Biological parents are the ones who nurture their offspring; they care for, support and educate them. In addition to loving their children unconditionally, mothers teach them important life skills and values like how to treat others and be responsible of their actions.
The idea of maternal love is a powerful one, and it can be difficult to define. For some, it’s a natural sense of warmth and affection for their children. Others may find it more challenging, but no less genuine. And then there are those who experience the most profound motherly love of all—the kind that feels overwhelming and inexplicable.
Motherhood is full of surprises and challenges, and the nature of parental love is no exception. For example, when parents choose to breastfeed their infants through the night or co-sleep with them, they often face criticism from family and friends who think these practices are harmful or excessively smothering.
For these reasons, many mothers feel the need to distance themselves from those who disagree with their parenting choices. However, this can be dangerous and detrimental to both the child and the mother. It’s best to find a balance between respectful parenting and overindulging your kids, and to find a way to communicate with those who differ from you.
When a child feels loved and supported, they’re less likely to seek attention in risky ways. They’re also more able to handle their own feelings and frustrations without taking them out on other people. But when kids feel unloved or disconnected from their parents, they’re more likely to turn their anger and aggression toward strangers.
It’s vital to recognize your children’s strong emotions and help them work through them. For instance, if your child is having a tantrum, try to sit with them and let them talk it out. Similarly, if your kid makes a mistake that hurts someone, encourage them to speak with the person who was affected and ask for forgiveness. You can also model this behavior by volunteering with your children and showing them how to be a philanthropic citizen. This helps them build a solid sense of self-worth and teaches them to respect the needs of others. It’s also a great way to keep the family bond strong and prevent them from growing apart.